Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Health official checks the temperature of a shopper before letting him into the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, June 16, 2020.

Israeli Police on Wednesday are going back to enforcing the Health Ministry’s coronavirus guidelines, including issuing fines to pedestrians who do not wear face masks, removing symptomatic individuals to isolation, as well as the ban on congregating in the public domain – except for protests.

Tuesday night, the Knesset plenum approved the bill to amend and renew the emergency regulations for 45 days. Appropriately enough, the bill was passed with 10 votes in favor and no objections. Also – no one abstained. In other words, there were 10 MKs present.

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Before the bill was passed by the Knesset plenum, consensus was reached between the coalition and the opposition regarding a number of contested clauses, such as limiting police to fining guidelines offenders rather than hauling them to jail, as the original draft had suggested. The clause allowing demonstrations was added, and a clause that allowed police officers to enter civilians’ homes without a court order was removed.

Meanwhile, in the US, Florida, Oklahoma Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Wyoming and Montana have have reported coronavirus numbers surging 50% and higher over the past seven days, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Even more frightening: a model cited by the White House predicts 200,000 US deaths from coronavirus by October 1. The number of American deaths as of Tuesday night, June 16, stands at 119,132. There are 2,208,400 diagnosed cases in the US.

Earlier this week, the FDA announced that new evidence from clinical trials have shown it is not reasonable to believe that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Trump as a possible cure for the coronavirus, produces an antiviral effect. In May, Trump told reporters he was taking the drug after members of his staff had tested positive for the coronavirus. “I took it and I felt good about taking it,” he said, “I can’t complain about it, I took it for two weeks, and I’m here, here we are.”

The president tweeted on Monday: “Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!”

In Israel, the number of coronavirus deaths remains unchanged at 302 Wednesday morning, with 224 new diagnosed patients over the previous 24 hours. The overall number of patients in Israel is about to reach 20,000, with 15,500 recoveries.

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